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Friday, December 8, 2023

In a first, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s birthday to be celebrated in Agra Fort

For the first time the 393rd birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj shall be celebrated at the ‘Diwan-E-Aam’ of the Agra Fort.

The development came after years of efforts by the Maharashtra government and several social organisations after which the Uttar Pradesh Government has permitted the Shiv Jayanti celebrations in the Agra Fort.

Many social groups had urged the government to celebrate the event in a grand manner at the ‘Diwan-E-Aam’ in the Agra Fort but the appeal was rejected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which looks after the heritage monument.

Later, they moved the Delhi High Court, which directed the ASI to allow the celebrations if the Maharashtra Government is involved as a co-organiser.

Accordingly, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis wrote to the ASI and other authorities that the state government will associate with the event along with some social groups.

In September 2020, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had decided to rename the existing Mughal Museum in the fort as ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum’.

Agra Fort has a special significance in the history of the Mughal and the Maratha empires which were at loggerheads for long.

It was in the summer of 1666 that the Maratha King Shivaji was invited by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to attend his 50th birthday celebrations at the royal court in Agra.

Shivaji Maharaj, along with his son Prince Sambhaji, reached Agra for the birthday on May 12, 1666, and in an act of deceit, the duo was held captive by Emperor Aurangzeb’s troops.

Along with his band of loyal soldiers, Shivaji Maharaj and Sambhaji remained captive for around three months before making their daring escape in boxes of sweets on August 17, 1666.

That famous getaway became the stuff of legends and folklore that remains fresh even today while the valorous Hindu king was crowned as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1674, in Raigad.

(With IANS inputs)

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